Unconventional Completions—Wellbore Completions and Fracturing

Production and Operations


This course develops strategies for completing unconventional wells that require multistage hydraulic fracturing. This course defines completions as both the wellbore completion and the hydraulic fracturing. Participants will learn the different types of wellbore completion options as well as the hydraulic fracturing options and how they compare in different applications. This will include plug-and-perf, ball-activated systems, coiled tubing-activated systems, fracturing fluids, proppants, additives, and general fracturing theory and design.

Topics include:

  • Wellbore completion options for unconventional reservoirs
  • Wellbore completion comparison for unconventional reservoirs
  • Application specific solutions for wellbore completion design
  • General fracturing theory and design
  • Selection of fracturing components – fluids, proppants, etc.
  • Fracturing challenges – proppant transport, conductivity, frac geometry, etc.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Know the benefits and considerations for each type of wellbore completions
  • Recognize that certain completions have made benefits in some applications
  • Understand the purpose of a fracturing job
  • Identify the application specific challenges for a fracturing job
  • Account for the challenges in the fracturing design

Learning Level

Introductory to Intermediate

Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend?

In the last seven years the oil and gas industry has seen significant changes in the price and supply of hydrocarbons, primarily due to new production from low-permeability unconventional reservoirs that require multistage hydraulic fracturing. As a drilling, completion, or reservoir engineer, it is important for you to understand the many options and challenges of completing these types of wells.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for drilling, completion, and reservoir engineers, and for service company personnel involved with planning, drilling, completing and operating well with multistage hydraulic fracturing. Engineers involved in designing wellbore completions and fracturing engineers wanting to learn about wellbore completions will also benefit.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to trainingcourses@spe.org; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


W. Aaron Burton’s career has been focused on the completion of shales and similar unconventional plays that require multistage hydraulic fracturing. In 2015, Burton started Unconventional Oil and Gas Training, a company specializing in training and consulting for unconventional multistage completions. Prior to starting the company, he was with Baker Hughes for nearly 8 years. During his tenure in operations he held the roles of field engineer, operations coordinator, and application engineer. Outside of operations he has been Product Line Strategist, Completions Manager for the Unconventional Resource Team, and Product Line Manager for unconventional multistage completions. He has completed wells, conducted training, and consulted on a variety of projects worldwide. Through his experience, he has developed a solid understanding of reservoir properties and stimulation design that are used in a data-driven approach to more effectively design completions in unconventional wells.

He is active in the industry authoring and instructing on the subject of unconventional completions. He has authored and coauthored three SPE papers, and continues to teach two SPE continuing education courses. He has written a variety of other documents including magazine articles and newsletters, and taught numerous classes in many different venues to operators, service companies, and other companies involved in the industry. Also, he has been a discussion leader, presenter, panelist, and participated in many other roles in industry events.

Burton holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University.

Sergey Kotov is the product line Manager for Unconventional Fracturing, Production Enhancement at Baker Hughes. Kotov spent 19 years in oil and gas industry primarily specializing in production enhancement.

He started his career in Russia, participating in all aspects of pumping operations in the most of the major oil and gas basins from the South of the Arctic Circle. As an application engineer of BJ Services Technology Research Center, he participated in the development and optimization of new stimulation technologies. As a senior stimulation specialist, Kotov worked in North Africa. He was involved in many stimulation projects around the world. In recent years Kotov has specialized in unconventional stimulation as a Region Engineer in the US, Sr. Stimulation Advisor/Stimulation Manager for the Unconventional Resources, and as a Product Line Manager for Unconventional Fracturing, providing technical expertise and leadership globally.

He is an active member of the SPE. He participated in numerous industry events as a speaker and a panelist. Kotov is as instructor for the “Unconventional Completions and Fracturing” SPE course, he is also a co-author of Baker Hughes Recommended Practices / Data-Driven Solutions for Shale Gas/Oil Analysis and Development, and a co-author and instructor for Baker Hughes Shale Academy.

Kotov holds an MS in petroleum engineering/oils and gas geology (Russia), he also earned an honors MA in linguistics (Russia).